The ancient Greek symbol of the Phoenix sits at the centre of the Movement Medicine® mandala for two reasons. Firstly, it was there in the original dream in which Ya'Acov saw the mandala for the first time. And secondly, more importantly, it represents the core intention and philosophy of Movement Medicine. This is the knowledge/ that given enough resources - namely love, enough safety, support, acceptance and movement, all human beings have it within them to rise from the ashes of suffering and create a new story.
The cycle of life, death and rebirth that the Phoenix reminds us of reflects the reality of mortality and opens us up to the reality that all things come to an end. 'Dying whilst still living' is a universal shamanic principle and philosophy. In order to evolve, our patterns, identities, and roles often come into question. The presence of the Phoenix reminds us that change is both inevitable and constant.
Dancing with whatever life brings is part of what Movement Medicine teaches us. Change is part of life. Whether it involves an actual death or a metaphorical one, working with the Phoenix as a symbol helps us to be more at ease with life's only guarantees - namely change and death.
The symbol of the Movement Medicine Mandala contains all the teachings that make up Movement Medicine. Each of its 21 Gateways is an invitation to engage with a different aspect of life in the most creative way possible. Each Gateway opens up an important aspect of life's journey. As your practice deepens, the mandala becomes more and more useful, both as a reminder of where you are, and as a measure of your evolution.
Watch this short video by Kata Mathe that reveals the meaning of each gateway.
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